Falls prevention for elders in acute care: an evidence-based nursing practice initiative

Crit Care Nurs Q. 2008 Jan-Mar;31(1):33-9. doi: 10.1097/01.CNQ.0000306394.79282.95.


The purpose of this article is to describe and measure the impact of a multifaceted program developed to reduce the falls rate on an acute medical unit at an academic tertiary care center. According to national benchmarks, this unit was one of the hospital's top 3 units for numbers of falls for several years. That distinction drove the hospital and unit leadership and a staff-led unit practice council to develop an evidence-based intervention plan. Interventions included a campaign to raise geriatric awareness, creation of "falls tool boxes," education of staff and family, and implementation of a structured hourly patient rounds schedule. The success of these interventions is discussed, including the effect on the falls rate benchmark. The discussion addresses implications and outcomes associated with the empowerment of nursing staff to respond to benchmarking measures, implement evidence-based practices, and use the same benchmarking procedure to measure outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Accident Prevention
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Acute Disease / nursing*
  • Aged
  • Benchmarking / organization & administration*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Geriatric Nursing / education
  • Geriatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Leadership
  • Models, Nursing
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Professional Staff Committees / organization & administration
  • Program Evaluation
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*